Article Written By Donna Davis
There are 84,600 seconds in a day. That’s a lot of time to plan for failure – or success. Every waking moment is a chance for greatness, purpose and accomplishment…if we so choose. We have and make choices thousands of times a day both consciously and unconsciously.
Our minds are cluttered with old baggage that no longer serves us, and perhaps never did. All the thoughts of minding someone else’s business, rehearsing conversations, if-onlys and wishful thinking are a big jumbled mess up in that beautiful mind of yours. Maybe it’s time to tune in to our thoughts and thinking and sort things out a bit.
In order to do that you need to “find” yourself- the self that does all the thinking. Do you have a certain pattern of thoughts? Do you have a preferred style of thinking? Are you on autopilot and let thinks run amuck-hoping that they will sort themselves out on their own?
Take a look at some choices below and see if any of these categories of thought seem familiar:
Spin Cycle: The same thoughts, or series of thoughts are stuck on “repeat.” For some reason your perception is that if you replay the same thoughts over and over again somehow things from the past will change. You think the same thoughts and place them in the “theatre” in your mind. You then take turns trying a new intro, a new outro, going through several wardrobe changes hoping that the outcome will be different. It’s time to shut the machine off, realize that the past cannot be changed or altered in any way, its already done. How do you want to move forward?
Roller Coaster: Woo-whooo what a ride we are on! We often get on this ride-with no seatbelt-and think that when we reach the end of the ride everything will turn out ‘just fine’ because we braved all of the emotions and twists and turns that the ride provides and somehow it will all will be worth it. We find ourselves bruised, battered, bewildered and disappointed. This ‘emotional’ ride has taken its toll on us and we have paid a very high price and often don’t get the outcome that we so desperately needed and believed that this ride would give us. Sometimes we get on the ride willingly, sometimes not. Often times we don’t realize that we have the option to get off. Don’t let this turn into a runaway train! Find the emergency brake! Find some steady ground and choose some better options, step by step.
In The Valley: It is VERY easy to take inventory of your sadness, pain and failures. They seem so BIG! They are also very heavy and we have allowed them to wear away at our self-esteem, worth and purpose and it has created a large, deep pit where we can go to feel sorry for ourselves any time of day or night. It is a welcoming place and always reminds us of how many mistakes we have made, all the things that went wrong and just how bad everything is. There is a special place within this canyon called “The Pity Pot” and you are welcome to sit on it 24 hours a day and think about how everything has turned to shit. Your perception of yourself and the world has hit a record low and it is very difficult to get out of this rut! This place would like you to think that it is impossible to leave and that climbing out of this hole will kill you. Truth is- you can leave any time you want. You may need some guidance and a helping hand – or two, but it IS absolutely possible to get yourself out of there. It’s time to trade in your real estate for a better future, starting NOW!
Lost In Space There will always be plenty of information and opinions to suggest perfect outcomes and ideal situations. There are 101 ways to do ‘this,’ and 57 ways to do ‘that!” You want to try all of them, just knowing that you will find 1 that will be extraordinary! But first you have to assimilate ALL the information, with its endless possible scenarios to figure out what that perfect outcome will be before you try and implement anything! There are unlimited ifs, ands & buts. You want to KNOW before you DO anything so it will all be flawless! It’s time to land. Pick one thing, something and test it out. Through trial, error, and experience, not thinking, you will find what you’ve been searching for.
It’s time to come back to reality. Like it or not, believe it or not, agree with it or not, that is what you need to accept and deal with. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, take a few deep breaths, find your awareness in THIS moment and steer your mind in a forward, positive direction. Create the best YOU and the NOW that could ever possibly BE.
The choice is and always was ours. We may not have realized it, someone could have taken our power away from us or we could have willingly handed it over thinking and hoping that someone else could do better for us than we could do for ourselves. It’s time to wake up, be aware and consciously make better choices.
I am sure by now you have had many hashtags fill your news feed for the #Metoo campaign to highlight how many people have actually experienced sexual assault and rape.
The numbers are shocking! Every other post on my Facebook highlights the #Metoo hashtag and it’s seriously disturbing to think that men and women all over the world have experienced this and that so many offenders thought it was “ok” to treat a person like that.
Abuse of authority or downright abuse, whichever the influence it comes from, is completely WRONG! We need to be educating children, teenagers, adults and old people that these things are not right and that every individual should be respected.
Over the next 7 days, I am going to focus on relationships and ask you one question every day to help you come to a conclusion of your own and to help highlight what really SHOULD be experienced in a relationship and what shouldn’t. i will also be leaving a little exercise for you to do to help become more aware of how relationships should be respected, and how you as a human being should receive the respect you deserve.
Q1, Is your boy/girlfriend making you feel good about yourself?
Everybody in every relationship should be made to feel good about themselves. If this is not the case within your own relationship, then you need to tell your partner how you are feeling. It may be that you just lack communication within your relationship and they have no idea where they are going wrong. However if you have told them and you are completely fed up of expressing this, then your partner is not taking your feelings into consideration and it’s likely they never will.
Not every person possesses the same levels of caring, sharing, love and respect as each other. This is not due to something you have done (which I know a lot of you think the blame lies within yourself and you blame yourself… constantly!).
9 times out of 10 the reason for less positive attitudes of partners is other factors. One example is the way they were raised by their parents or the influences and habits from friends and others around them. Different people have certain levels of love inside of them, and over time, we realise they are not capable of loving at the deeper level that we are. So this is where the relationship tends to break down.
Talk to your partner, and if your partner is willing to take your feedback on board and is willing to work at putting your relationship back online then at least you know your partner genuinely cares about how you feel.
Try this little exercise below which will give each of you the chance to see what the other truly thinks of each other’s good and bad points.
Take a piece of A4 paper each. Draw a line down the centre of the page to make two parts to the page. Give one side of the page the title negatives and the other side of the page the title positives. Making sure you both have separate sheets of paper. Now write down on the positive side what it is you think is positive about your partner and the same with the negative side.
When each of you has finished, swap over the sheets of paper with your partner. This may be hard to swallow at first due to some negative things we never really knew about our self and have never had these things brought to our attention till now. Taking feedback on board from others and listening to what they have to say will strengthen our character and let us know where we can improve.
Stay tuned for 6 more questions and 6 more exercises,
For more information on Kate Batten click here
REAL LIFE STORY – Written by Donna Davis
He seemed so very charming. Or was it easy for me to be so distracted because my heart was recently broken in a recent break-up. Misery makes it easy for predators to ease right in. I never saw it coming.
He always had time for me. He smiled a lot and was adventurous. He seemed to know exactly what to say and when. We had fun together and things seemed great. I didn’t know he had a temper and a short fuse.
It started the night that he was teaching me how to drive. I hadn’t had the opportunity before so it seemed wonderful to have the chance to learn. I started out doing well and then at one point drove off the curb, by accident of course, and watched him turn into a monster. He started yelling and cursing and then hit me. What?! What’s happening? I’m sorry it was a mistake! The car is fine. We’re fine. What’s the big deal? He later apologized and I thought it wouldn’t happen again. Unfortunately it did. Over and over again for a ten years. No rhyme or reason. Half the time I couldn’t even figure out what the trigger was. It seemed that I was living in hell.
Prior to being with him I never really knew how painful and destructive anger was. I had never experienced it. If he was angry I would get hit. If he was angry I would get punched. If he was angry I would get raped. If he was angry I would have to listen to hours of yelling and threats while I was cornered in the bathroom. I didn’t dare question him or answer back and had no idea of how to stand up to him. Year after year it went on and on. I would subconsciously walk on eggshells afraid of relaxing because he could “blow” at any time. We would have patches of okay existence and even some seemingly happy times and then out of nowhere I would get backhanded in the chest or punched in the head. My belief about anger became: if someone was angry-especially a man- I was going to get hurt! It would take me years to have this conscious awareness and several more years before I confronted the fact that this was a lie.
That experience taught me many lessons. It allowed me to see how strong I had become, even after years of feeling so weak and helpless. I found out what forgiveness was. The surprise-and gift-of that was learning and understanding that forgiveness sets me free. It doesn’t justify what happened or excuse his role in the abuse. It allows me to move on and find peace and live life fully.
The dark memories do come to visit from time to time. I’ve learned how to deal with them. I acknowledge that they happened and I rejoice that I’ve found a way out. It seems like so long ago now since I was able to put it all behind me. Each day is a victory, another chance to make better choices for myself and make sure NOONE ever does those things to me again.
I sit here today listening to the Kesha song; “Praying” and smile at the thought that somewhere, somehow, perhaps he has found forgiveness for himself, and maybe has a more peaceful life. That is a wish I can send his way.
I get silent and say a prayer of thanks and ask God what to do next: I hear “Your celebration of life IS your release, IS your reward and IS your freedom.” I dance in those thoughts with a happy heart, a smile, and a sincere hope that many who find themselves in a similar situation can one day be free as well. There is a way out. NEVER give up!
Thank you for reading!
About Donna Davis:
As The Menopause Fairy I now help other women fine tune their lives as they discover their “A-HA MOMENTS” and discover happiness and pursue their true purpose. Over the years I have had the honor and privilege of helping women all over the world get clear on their dreams and goals while helping and supporting them as they found their balanced hormonal health and peace. Find out more at: http://themenopausefairy.com/
Real Life Story Written By Jaime Evors
In 2008, God spoke, “You keep trying to end your life. But I am going to keep intervening because I have a plan for you” as I laid that day in a white hospital bed. Everything in my life that took place up until that point, the sorrows and the victories, swam around in my mind as I tried to make sense of the fact that God himself, had a plan for me.
Soon after that hospitalization, I knew I was to go to Oklahoma for Bible College. Without hesitation, I went. I was newer to faith, and still learning the basics of the Bible. I was excited, vulnerable and naive. I grew by great measure in my faith and in all that God did and does. While attending that college, I met a guy. After being pursued and wooed, we began to date. His family and I would talk on the phone for hours. I dreamed of this family I could have and it was enticing. I was warned by my friends and mentors of these red flags, but my own eyes could not see it. Or simply did not want to. I was slowly drawn away from God. A few months later, I was living across country in the south with his family. When we left the cold winter of Oklahoma and landed in the warmth of the south, I felt sick to my stomach. A part of me knew that I had just gotten myself in to something I wasn’t expecting. But, I wasn’t sure and waited it out. After a few weeks, Christmas came and went, and I knew that I did not want to stay. Something was off. But, I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly. As days turned in to weeks, I began to feel like a puppet. I don’t conform well to other people, so when this began, I had some resistance. They would tell me that what goes on within the family couldn’t go outside their four walls. They controlled who I talked to, what I said, and how acted. I desperately wanted to leave, but was coerced to stay several times by means of being slapped, strangled, thrown onto the ground, and even being put in a shower of cold water during a panic attack. One time in particular, the mother held a butcher knife to her wrists to show what I would cause her to do if I left. I dreaded waking up the next day, every day. I went through psychological, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse during those 8 months. I became so wounded and confused. My past wasn’t one that nurtured what is right and what is wrong, so I naturally thought that it was just me, invaluable me.
But God. I could not deny what He has so kindly spoken to me on that day in 2008. I knew this wasn’t the plan He was referring to. I knew that I needed to flee. With one final attempt, I escaped. I left on a lunch break to never return. I grabbed the few items I could hold and left to head north. As I drove with adrenaline surging, tears streaming, and thoughts racing, I had to keep convincing myself that I was doing the right thing. Everything within me shook and by the next day, I wanted to go back. I panicked. What had I just done? Everything I could have gained, was lost. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was? Maybe it’s all my fault? Maybe it can change? But I knew with my failed attempts to leave before, with my many attempts to keep peace, that things weren’t going to change. I needed to accept that fact to keep myself from returning to the abuse. I kept my shaking hands on the steering wheel and didn’t turn back. So, now what?
Life got harder. Leaving something horrific, doesn’t always mean that it’ll be easier on the other side. I had burned bridges, lost my identity, my faith was shaken, I had flashbacks, nightmares, and continually wanted to go back to them. I no longer knew who I was without them, as horrible as it was. That’s what abuse does. That’s what manipulation and coercion does. It strips us of our identity to the point where we can barely, if at all, think for ourselves. We think that it would be easier to go back, than to work through the pain.
But, I just couldn’t go back. I couldn’t. However, with the flashbacks, nightmares, and fear that followed me daily, I stopped eating. I tried to starve the feelings and fell silent. I was crippled in fear from threats to not speak of what took place. Even though I had fled, I was still held hostage in my mind. I took sleeping pills, worked full time, and threw up what I did eat. I punished myself. I took the pain out on myself. I would go for morning runs on the country roads of Ohio, and with each sound of my feet hitting the pavement, I told myself how horrible I was, what mistakes I made, how I deserved this pain, and that I was weak. I would tear myself down so no one else could. I told myself whatever it took to in order to push through the pain of malnourishment. I was tormented, yet somehow, I tried again. I made some calls and sent some emails and found a way to get back out to Oklahoma where I had friends and medical facilities that I knew could help restore me. About six months from when I fled from the south, I made the move back out west. Within 2 days, I saw a doctor. I was told that in 2 weeks I would be dead if I didn’t have an intervention, due to Anorexia Nervosa. Part of me thought, “good.” But God’s spirit in me rose up and I knew I needed to do what it takes.
I received the feeding tube, and picked up my shield and fought harder. I felt as though I was in a desert all of this time. I had secrets know one knew of and at the same time needed to rebuild myself, my identity. It took 2 years of choosing every day to keep moving forward. To keep speaking the truth of God’s Word, to keep spending time with Him by being still or praying, and by spending time with good company. I knew He was faithful. From stories in the Bible, from other peoples lives, and even from experiences in my life. There was no question to that. I guess what I didn’t know, was how. How could I get out of this? I didn’t have a vision, I just had to blindly trust Him every day with every thing and keep doing the next right thing. During that 8 months of time down south, I had met someone and we became friends. Over a year later, after talking every day, encouraging one another, he came to live by me to help take care of me while my strength returned as I was to the point of where I was not able to work. We were best friends. Two years later, we decided to court one another and got engaged. Two months later, we were married. Being that he is the only child, after much time and prayer, we decided to move back south. To that same city, the same area where I was maltreated.
As God heals us, He gives us new perspectives. I took it as an opportunity to face the nightmare that I had been running from and trying to suppress and began to finally heal. The very time frame where satan tried to destroy me, a new life was being born out of it.
Doing that next right thing, led me to today. I am happily married to that best friend, who I think is a saint. I have 3 beautiful little children, a quaint home, and even a cat. I am a certified Life Coach and consider it an honor to work with others to take the next step. He’s not finished. God is never finished. He is all of our good qualities and more. He never left me. He helped me through one step at a time. There’s character traits and dreams that I would not have, had it not been for that healing process. I’ve learned not to discount the hard work of healing. It isn’t about getting from point A to point B. If we let that season mold us, we will come out of the fire stronger than before we went in. Our thoughts are fleeting, but His are eternal. He has a plan for you.
Only He could know the depths that phrase would follow me to and bring me out of again. Only He could know what lied ahead. At my deepest sorrow, He spoke life. Thats who He is and that’s what He does. He’s a redeemer.
God bless you,
Jaime Evors. I am a wife, a mother of 3 and counting. I am certified as a Life Coach through THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL LIFE COACHING, an ICF accredited program and as well have an associates in Ministry. You can find out more about me at http://www.wavesafterwaves.org/
Written by Hayley Young
I’m not sure about you, but I used to think self-esteem and self-confidence was the same thing. Well, quite simply, they are both very different. Self-confidence is a positive feeling that you can accomplish what you wish to, the assurance that you trust your judgment, ability, and power. Self-esteem is your emotional perception of yourself and your worth.
Self-esteem often feels like an inner voice, telling you what you are… or are not worth it. Think of it like the parrot on your shoulder or the chimp in your mind, judging us and tell us we are useless, pathetic or worthless. No matter what your skills, talent or ability anyone can have poor self-esteem, and it often goes unnoticed. It can be caused by a multitude of events from failure or criticism, to a bad decision we made, our upbringing and bullying, to name a few. These life experiences stay with us, affecting our future and how we see ourselves (even years down the line). We are more vulnerable as children, and this is when a lot of our perceptions of ourselves and who we will become develop. Self-esteem varies from person to person, day to day and hour to hour. Some people may appear positive on the outside, but battle with self-doubt on the inside.
Believe that you are worth it. You deserve everything you desire.
From now on stop procrastinating, accept compliments, stand tall, and walk confidently. Cage your parrot/chimp. Remember, I said everyone is different, so stop comparing yourself to others. You are worth it, and you have a meaning.
Exercise is not only good for our physical health but mental health too! It increases energy levels and improves brain function, keeping your mind healthy. Exercise releases endorphins, which makes you feel relaxed, lowers stress levels and improves your sense of well-being.
Nutrition and diet play a huge part in well-being by having the right vitamins and nutrients for our bodies to work properly. Also, maintaining a good diet encourages positive self-worth and esteem because you are thinking of yourself and taking care of you.
Getting plenty of sleep promotes positive feelings of self-worth as well as helping to reduce depression. Creativity and innovation are increased when you get enough sleep, and your brain function improves too!
I believe that meditation can help with self-esteem. Having that ‘you’ time promotes positive feelings of self-worth and increases your belief in yourself. You will also experience relaxation, clarity, peace, love, and joy.
Thank you so much for reading,
I am 5ft 5/6ish, dark blonde hair (often dye it red), blue eyes, happy-go-lucky, easy going, always happy and up for a laugh. Love travelling. Life is to short to be miserable!! you can connect with me right here: https://www.facebook.com/hayley.young.9237
Mel Bonthuys was born and raised in South Africa, but lives in the United Kingdom with her husband. She suffered her first ever anxiety attack in 2001, which developed into an anxiety disorder. Her first book ‘My Anxiety Companion’ tells her story from her first attack through the bad times to how she lives and copes with the condition today. Wanting to help other sufferers, Mel’s book will reassure and encourage anyone to see that mental illness does not mean a ticket to doom and gloom. Apart from her mental health advocacy, Mel blogs and puts up occasional video’s on her YouTube channel. She is also an avid animal lover, vegan and environmentalist.
She suffered her first ever anxiety attack in 2001, which developed into an anxiety disorder. Her first book ‘My Anxiety Companion’ tells her story from her first attack through the bad times to how she lives and copes with the condition today. Wanting to help other sufferers, Mel’s book will reassure and encourage you to see that mental illness does not mean a ticket to doom and gloom.
I know myself how anxiety can be scary at the beginning because you have no clue what is actually happening to you. My own anxiety became so bad that my panic attacks triggered a stroke. The stroke then left me paralyzed down my right-hand side for 2 months afterwards. The fear of not having control over my body was something that filled me with complete dread, especially when I had two small children to rise at the time.
I love the fact that Mel decided to help others by sharing her story as a “still in recovery” author. Mel dosen’t hide her condition and “owns” it. Which I think is vital in today’s society. Mental health is a serious issue and more people need to talk about it and not feel like it is something to be afraid of sharing.
What I loved about Mel’s book is that she provided exercises for you to place into your life on a daily basis. The right exercises for the right cause, and not leave you in the dark to find them out for yourself. Not only do you get to read up on the right exercises, but Mel provides a meal plan as well!
I would recommend that if you are suffering from anxiety, to check out Mel’s book at: http://ow.ly/rBxE30firT9
I wish I had come across something like this when my journey of panics attacks started 7 years ago, it would have helped me a whole lot more to understand what was happening to me and how I could have lived with mental health easier at the time.
Thank you to Mel for sending me a copy of your book to read I really appreciate it! I am looking forward to placing some of your great tips into my life.
Mel Bonthuys is a mental health advocate, blogger and author of the book My Anxiety Companion. Through her book and blogs, she aims to bring hope and reassurance to all anxiety sufferers – even for the most severe anxiety disorders, by helping them to see that recovery is possible and that living a happy and amazing life can be done! Find out more at:
A confidence and satisfaction in oneself
1: A proper respect for oneself as a human being
2: Regard for one’s own standing or position
Webster’s Dictionary definition of self-esteem and self-respect.
Why do we have such a struggle with all of this?
Self-esteem and self-respect are a group of muscles; they must be worked and strengthened every day. In this article, I want to talk about how to do just that, not the reasons why we lack the confidence and satisfaction in ourselves. I will say one more thing, we all experience this and we even have insecurities as well.
The key questions here are:
How long do you stay in this environment of yourself and who do you turn too?
I talk a lot about the ‘Hag in the attic,’ that nagging voice in our heads. You know who she is! The one that keeps you small, comfortable, questioning yourself so your confidence is compromised and satisfaction is never reached. Sound familiar? Believe me, you need support and tools to keep strengthening your self-esteem.
Think about your muscles and you want to become stronger. You need to do a strength-training regime, right? The same goes for your esteem. Esteem needs spiritual training. Yes, spiritual training.
A higher belief of one’s self, call it what you want, The Universe, or God. I believe God created everything, so I speak God. We need this to release all of our lamenting to grow stronger, through chaos, joy, ups, and downs! Think bicep curls, planks, squats and lunges, crunches (all Pilates based of course). Training! Hard core training. Period.
We have twelve laws of the Universe, begin there for your routine. Read them, understand them. You also need water, a dehydrated body leads to misery and that is not the way to strengthen your muscles. Hydration is so key in so many ways.
The bottom line here is when self-doubt creeps in it is a recipe for misery, and you need someone to hand this all over to: God! We think we need other people in our lives to help us through all of this ‘stuff’ we have going on, and we do, however, they have stuff going on as well. There is only one person that can help us grieve, forgive, lament, and give it all too; and that is a higher power is God!
There was a time when I didn’t turn to God, and I felt He was too far away to even help, let alone trust. So here is how I lived:
I chased money, titles and I placed people on pedestals. That left me disappointed, empty, feeling like I was in a deep dark hole, chasing people for love, drugs, and sex. I lied to climb corporate ladders for money and titles. All because I thought this is what society expected of me, and because I didn’t have satisfaction in myself. I didn’t have a family lifting me up, they beat me down. I was on my own since high school navigating my way with little to no tools.
I quit school because it was more fun to go to Florida at spring break and party. I built a career on lies, I cheated people for money, and I did drugs because it was a powerful place to be, or so I thought. I rebelled, believing in my own false confidence. I was wrapped up in my appearance of my body image, so I took on an exercise disorder. I lived a low life because I thought this is what society, and more importantly, my parents thought I should be doing. And yes, these were my judgments, all of this was in my mind.
Anxiety crept in, and it became worse. Physically, I was getting sick. On the outside, it looked like I had it all going on, but the price to pay was my lack of spirituality, faith, self-esteem, and self-respect! I compared myself to others, and I always felt like I had work hard to chase everything down! I would say things like: “I don’t have luck, I don’t come from money, only other people know how to achieve success.” This my friends is the Hag attacking and controlling when you are low.
A few easy suggestions to break this down into simple steps:
R.E.A.D.! (I heard this in church.)
R: ready in your heart
E: engage the text
A: ask questions
D: decide to act
Read and get to know God’s words, fall in love with Him, then you will be in love with yourself. Take His words and bury them deep into your heart. Slow down to have a conversation with Him. We live in such a fast-paced, surfaced, quick-fix environment. We need to go deeper in our hearts, bury his words so deep nothing can dig them up. Ask the questions of who, what, where, why, and when? Do this daily!
This is the muscle-building regime for developing confidence and satisfaction in oneself, a proper respect for oneself as a human being, and regard for one’s own standing or position!
You now have your foundation of strengthening your self-esteem.
Kim Boudreau Smith is a multi-talented CEO and business leader with a legacy of empowering thousands of women. From a corporate background in sales and marketing and over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, Kim has gone on to become an #1 International Best-Selling Author with the book being one of the best-selling on Amazon for 2015! Kim also has become a multiple International Best-Selling Author Business Consultant and Speaker. Kim combines her expertise with a passion to motivate and inspire other women to become “top producers in their lives”. As CEO of Kim Boudreau Smith Inc. & Founder of Bold Radio Station her international speaking and consulting work has enabled thousands of women to benefit from her inspirational and empowering work. Find out more at www.kimbsmith.com